By Chimezie Ibedu
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith….” These words taken from II Timothy 4:7 can be fittingly applied to a true Christian soldier who fought a worthy battle till the very end, Christiana Adaeze Udenkwo.
She was laid to rest on Saturday, September 15, 2018 in the presence of members of both her physical and spiritual family, the church. A multitude of friends, relatives, former colleagues, priests and fellow parishioners were present at the funeral Mass at Holy Name Parish Church Umuchu and the final interment at her family compound, Osete village, Umuchu.
The late Miss Adaeze aged 63, slept in the Lord after a long and intermittent battle with ill-health. She was at various times a staff of Fides Communications Okpuno and a devoted parishioner and Lay-reader at REPACCO Okpuno, St Gabriel Parish Okpuno and Holy Name Umuchu. Rev Fr Bernard Anaebene delivered the homily during the funeral Mass led by Rev Fr Christopher Nwonicha, in the midst of six concelebrants.
In the homily, he underscored the place of suffering in the life of a Christian as exemplified by the way the deceased remained faithful in her vocation inspite of numerous challenges she had to surmount.
In a brief remark, Rev Fr Anthony Nwafor, pastor of St Gabriel Parish Okpuno condemned the attitude of some Christians who would not support their kith and kin to get adequate medical care but would spend a fortune for burial when such a person dies. According to him, rejection is the most painful treatment that can be meted out to a human being.
Other priests present at the Mass include Msgr Jerome Madueke, founding Director of Fides Communications; Fr Barnabas Okafor, Manager Visitation Hospital Umuchu; Fr Polycarp Obikwelu, one-time parish priest Holy Name Umuchu; Fr Anthony Ezenwekwe, Vicar, Holy Name Umuchu; and Fr Fidelis Izuakor,Vicar St Gabriel Okpuno.
Members of the faithful from various parts of Awka Diocese witnessed the burial including those from St John’s Enugwu-Agidi and Okpuno, where she was the leader of the Lay-readers.